Mohan Joshi: Stopped doing Hindi films as I was getting the same kind of roles

Sana Farzeen
mohan joshi

Mohan Joshi plays the lead role in Star Plus show Dadi Amma Dadi Amma Maan Jao.

After making his mark in theatre and films, Mohan Joshi will now be seen in television show Dadi Amma Dadi Amma Maan Jaao. The 74-year-old actor will be paired opposite Seema Biswas in the Rajshri Productions' project. The show will showcase the elderly couple's close bond with their granddaughters.

Having started his career with Marathi plays and films, Joshi moved to Bollywood in 1993. He was lauded for his performance in films like Gaddaar, Bhishma, Major Saab, Vaastav, Daag, Zameen, Gar and Gangaajal among more. Joshi has also worked earlier on television show Dhoond Legi Manzil Humein.

In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, the veteran actor opened up about his latest show, what keeps him away from Bollywood and more.

Here are excerpts from the conversation.

How did Dadi Amma Dadi Amma Maan Jao happen?

I have always wanted to work with Rajshri Productions. When Sooraj Barjatya narrated the story to me, I really liked it. I feel lucky that I got a chance to work with them. I am back to Hindi television after more than 20 years and it feels really good. The role is very relatable as it's close to my age. I also have grandchildren in real life, so it's always good to get such an opportunity.

Tell us more about the character.

He is a retired wing commander, and because of something that has happened in the past, he was asked to leave. And that has caused a bit of frustration in him. He is a patriot and has immense respect for freedom fighters. He is also very disciplined but when he is with his granddaughters, he is very childlike.

In a time when supernatural dramas rule, do you feel a simple story like this would work?

Rajshri is known for helming projects which are based on families. So the audience knows what they would be offered. There is a certain expectation from them and this is one show that the audience can sit and watch together.

Was that the reason you decided to make a comeback after so long?

Honestly, I was busy with films, both in Hindi and Marathi. In the regional industry, I did quite a lot of shows though. I started refusing Hindi TV serials because of time constraint, but people created propaganda that I was not interested. So people even stopped offering me work. Also, somewhere I was of the opinion that when I am doing work on the big screen, I shouldn't do TV. Now, with everyone opting for the small screen, I realised the difference is waning. I am enjoying myself doing this as it's also a break from my villain image.

How important is it for an actor to break from their on-screen image?

I stopped working in Bollywood because I was getting the same kind of work. I remember once I was doing two-shifts, and the character, its name and even the star cast was similar. That day I realised I have reached my saturation point. After Gangaajal, I did not take another Hindi film and shifted focus to Marathi cinema. I don't even miss Bollywood because I was getting to do some amazing work in the regional industry.

We have been told you are recovering from a back injury. How are you dealing with the long shoot schedules?

Yes, I was a little unwell but the team has been so accommodating. Who does that for an actor today? This is why I say, I feel lucky to be working with Rajshri.

The cast is relatively young in the show. How much time did it take to break the ice?

It just took us two days to break the ice, and everything was fun. There's a very positive vibe around and we have really bonded well.

What has been the initial feedback about the show?

I have been bombarded by calls and messages. We have started on a positive note, and people really have good things to say about it. I believe, every project has it's own fate, so let's see how it goes ahead.

Besides Mohan Joshi and Seema Biswas, Dadi Amma Dadi Amma Maan Jao also stars Ankit Raizada, Abhishek Singh Pathania, Sheen Dass and Anagha Bhosale. It airs Monday-Friday at 7:30 pm on Star Plus.